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Issue 72, 2018
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Fabrication of microporous layer – free hierarchical gas diffusion electrode as a low Pt-loading PEMFC cathode by direct growth of helical carbon nanofibers

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Abstract

Improving interfacial contact between each component in the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) can lead to a significant increase in power density and Pt utilization. In this work, the junction between the catalyst layer and gas diffusion layer (GDL) is greatly enhanced through direct attachment of helical carbon nanofibers, giving rise to a hierarchical structure within the electrical interconnections. The alternative novel GDL is produced by spraying a thin layer of Pd2C60 precursor on commercial carbon paper, followed by chemical vapor deposition growth resulting in a surface morphology of well-attached nanofibers surrounding the microfibers present in the commercial carbon paper. Subsequent solvothermal deposition of platinum nanoparticles allowed evaluation of its suitability as gas diffusion electrode in cathodic H2/O2 PEMFC environment. A combination of lowered charge transfer resistance and enhanced Pt-utilization is attributed to its unique wire-like appearance and its robust properties. The fabricated microporous layer – free GDL is suitable for relatively aggressive membrane electrode assembly fabrication procedures and is produced by industrially favorable techniques, rendering it capable of efficiently supporting small amounts of precious metal catalyst nanoparticles in various PEM applications.

Graphical abstract: Fabrication of microporous layer – free hierarchical gas diffusion electrode as a low Pt-loading PEMFC cathode by direct growth of helical carbon nanofibers

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Publication details

The article was received on 11 Sep 2018, accepted on 29 Nov 2018 and first published on 12 Dec 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8RA07569G
Citation: RSC Adv., 2018,8, 41566-41574
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    Fabrication of microporous layer – free hierarchical gas diffusion electrode as a low Pt-loading PEMFC cathode by direct growth of helical carbon nanofibers

    R. Sandström, J. Ekspong, A. Annamalai, T. Sharifi, A. Klechikov and T. Wågberg, RSC Adv., 2018, 8, 41566
    DOI: 10.1039/C8RA07569G

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